How Night Shifts Can Increase Cancer Risk

How Night Shifts Can Increase Cancer Risk

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reveal that disruption to the circadian rhythm also leads to the impairment of two tumor suppressor genes, which can spur tumor growth.

Lead author Thales Papagiannakopoulos, of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Around 15 million people in the United States work night shifts or other irregular schedules, which studies have shown may have negative implications for health.

A study reported by Medical News Today last year, for example, found a link between rotating night shift work and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and all causes.

Shift work interferes with the body’s circadian rhythm – the approximate 24-hour cycle that regulates when we go to sleep and when we wake up, primarily in response to light and dark in the environment.

The body’s central circadian rhythm, or “master clock,” is made up of around 20,000 nerve cells in the brain, which are collectively referred to as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

Situated in the hypothalamus, the SCN receives information about light and dark levels from the retina of the eyes, and this information is sent to the body’s cells… Read More>>

Source: Medical News Today

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